The Best Concerts in Dallas This Week: The Mountain Goats, Geto Boys and More

This week is home to yet another winning week of concerts. The Mountian Goats get all folksy at the Kessler, where no fringe boots are allowed. Benjamin Booker is going to literally light Tress on fire with his guitar. E 40 is playing a set at Gas Monkey Live! Lynyrd Skynyrd plays a set at Verizon theater. And the Geto Boys hit the House of Blues on Sunday, which will be a good day.

The Mountain Goats
With Pinkish Black, 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 8, at Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or thekessler.org, $25

The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle has a special place in his heart for Texas. The Lone Star State has made appearances in several of the band's songs, including the lauded “Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” and the recent “Southwestern Territory” a musically expansive gem all about professional wrestling from their 2015 album Beat the Champ. The Kessler will provide an intimate setting for Darnielle and co’s bottomless quiver of visionary folk compositions, though their energy can be hard to contain. This stop in Dallas is the second-to-last date of a mini-U.S. tour before they make their final stop in Austin the following night. It’s also a chance to witness a contrasting performance from the much heavier, darker locals Pinkish Black. If you’re going to see either of these bands, whether it’s your first time or your 15th, go see them at the Kessler Monday. And buy your tickets in advance. You can thank us later. Anita Riot

Benjamin Booker
7 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $20

Presumably born out of a velvety haze of smoke, grit and Southern charm comes 20-something Benjamin Booker. The NOLA-based blues-rocker has been charming the socks off of everyone from Alabama Shakes producer Andrija Tokic to Jack White; he even opened for White for last year's Lazaretto tour. As far as Booker's Dallas adventures go, the last time he was in town he sold out Three Links with ease, leaving last-minute ticket-buyers to resort to hitting up the not-so-discreet scalper that was lurking outside. That scene might be normal for a larger venue, but Three Links? That's probably only happened a handful of times. It was all but a foregone conclusion that his next stop in the Big D would take place in a more spacious locale like Trees. Booker's music is the type of hip-shaking rock 'n' roll that mother's used to warn their children about. His voice is timeless, too, much like local soul phenom Leon Bridges and at 25 it just seems to be getting better with age. With all the hype surrounding this emerging artist, this is one show you definitely don't want to miss. Molly Mollotova

RC and the Gritz
9 p.m., Wednesday, June 10, at The Prophet Bar, 2548 Elm St., 214-742-3667, $10

Every week, RC & the Gritz hit the Prophet Bar for a jazz-tinged jam session that daps, pounds and nods to hip-hop, R&B and funk. The band makes it look oh-so effortless and easy every time out, just as a bunch of true pros should do. It's no wonder they're so great, though, because they're Erykah Badu's band and you know she would only accept the very best. Also on the docket: the hottest R&B open mic night in all of Dallas. HDB

With Stevie Stone, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, at Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd., gasmonkeybarngrill.com, $25-$50

When I think E40, like anyone else in the hip-hop world, I think “Tell Me When to Go.” Back in 2006, it was impossible not to hear it on the radio, on the TV or in nightclubs everywhere. But long before that smash hit, the Vallejo, California native otherwise known as Earl Stevens had already built a long, steady career as rapper, producer and entrepreneur with a magic touch in the studio. Besides racking up hit features with other mainstream artists, E40 has released 20 studio albums. This is a number some artists don’t even see in the span of their career. But what’s even more fascinating is the pace at which these works have been released: From 2010 to 2012 alone, E40 released a total of nine studio albums. One was a collaborative album with Too Short, another respectable rap figure hailing from the West Coast. 3 of these albums were released in 2012 alone. On top of that, he's also been prolific composing film soundtracks, building businesses and writing books. Frankly, we're not even sure where he finds the time to tour. Devin Papillion

Jon Bellion
Friday, June 12, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122 or treesdallas.com, $18

Jon Bellion cites Kanye West as an influence, he even went as far as dropping out of college to take on music as a career. Just like Yeezus himself, it seems like his determination paid off. Bellion wrote the hook to the Eminem and Rihanna single, "The Monster," and ever since then Bellion's been slowly garnering more and more attention. As a pop artist, Bellion has let the rap influence change up the usual pop artist plan of action by releasing a slew of mixtapes before a proper release. The latest is The Definition which opens on probably the most recognizable thing Kanye West has ever said (well, on an actual song), "Wait 'till I get my money right," and filled to the brim with grandiose pop ballads. HDB

Lynyrd Skynyrd
With Eddie Money, Blue Oyster Cult and Stone Cold Sweat, Friday, June 12, at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie, 972-854-5050 or verizontheatre.com, $9.25-$86.75

Technically, Lynyrd Skynyrd hasn't existed since 1977, when Ronnie Van Zant and several other band members died tragically in a plane crash. Nevertheless, Ronnie's younger brother Johnny Van Zant has insisted on keeping the band touring pretty consistently since 1987. Only one of the founding members, guitarist Gary Rossington, is still with the band, and nothing the second-generation version has done could even approach the band's original work, like "Simple Man," "Gimme Three Steps" or "Sweet Home Alabama." As such, there is really no reason to see Lynyrd Skynyrd live for the music — your records at home will sound much better — but there's no better people-watching than at a show like this. Lynyrd Skynyrd appeals to a certain rowdy type of crowd, so you'd better be ready to duck some elbows, drink some beer and maybe if you're lucky, see some boobs. Amy McCarthy

Oil Boom
With War Party, Siberian Traps, Saturday, June 13, at  Shipping & Receiving, 201 S Calhoun St, Fort Worth, $10

Oil Boom’s Red Metal was one of the best local records from last year. It’s packed with an unflinching groove throughout and a bit of a retro take through the eyes of modernity. Kind of like when Marty McFly played Chuck Berry at prom and ended up sliding across the floor playing metal riffs. Oil Boom has an exceedingly charismatic take on garage and punk rock and are without a doubt one of the most fun local bands around. HDB

The Sonics
With Mind Spiders, 10 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 214-948-1546 or thetexastheatre.com, $25-30

In their day, the Sonics fwere a staple band of garage rock in the early 1960s. Today the Tacoma, Washington natives, now in their 70s, defy the dated stereotype that screaming, angsty, noisey rock is just for the youth. The band is well known for a deep influence on rock 'n' roll from punk to Nirvana to Bruce Springsteen. In April, they came out with their first album featuring all new material in 49 years titled This is the Sonics. The album was produced by Jim Diamond of The Dirtbombs, famed for producing the first White Stripes album. Now they're on tour promoting it as a big time band who "Like It Small," as one of their new songs implies (irony intended). The band's vocalist Gerry Roslie still knows how to scream up a number backed by a simple chord progression, which comes courtesy guitarist Larry Parypa. Another new song on the album, "Bad Betty," still has the howling upbeat sound found in the early material. The band's second stop on tour is at the Texas Theater on June 13 to close out the Oak Cliff Film Festival with Fort Worth's Mind Spiders. Pablo Arauz

Geto Boys
With Young Nino, 8:30 pm, Sunday, June 14, at House of Blues, 2200 North Lamar Street, 214-978-2583 or houseofblues.com/dallas, $35

Reunited and it feels so good: Houston rap legends the Geto Boys, who for years seemed certain never to get back together, are staging a reunion tour this summer. The trio of Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill were true pioneers of Texas hip hop in the late '80s, known for their controversial lyricism which covers themes of police brutality, misogny, psychotic experiences, gore and politically conscious concerns over violence within the urban community. They helped put the South on the hip-hop map and inspired a myriad of rappers, such as 2PAC, the Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Jay-Z, OutKast, UGK and Goodie Mob. Their songs have even been featured in multiple cult classic films – two singles, “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta” from Till Death Do Us Part (1993) and “Still” from Resurrection (1996), were written as soundtrack singles – so it's appropriate that the reunion tour, dubbed The Office Space Tour, is a nod the Mike Judge film that also featured “Gangtsa.” There's even talk of a new album being in the works, but catching Geto Boys at House of Blues will be worth it for the classic, hard-hitting flows. Morganne Cameron

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